Tomatito in Moscow (November 13, 2010)
|Birth name||José Fernández Torres|
|Also known as||Tomatito|
|Born||August 20, 1958|
|Origin||Barrio de Pescadería, Almería, Andalusia, Spain|
|Associated acts||Camarón de la Isla, Paco de Lucía, Michel Camilo, Diego el Cigala, Luis Salinas, Duquende, Chano Domínguez|
José Fernández Torres, known as Tomatito (born Almería, 1958), is a Spanish flamenco guitarist. Having started his career accompanying famed flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla (with Paco de Lucía), he has made a number of collaborative albums and six solo albums, two of which have won Latin Grammy Awards.
Beginnings, de la Isla
Torres grew up in a musical family, which included two guitar playing uncles: Niño Miguel, a flamenco guitarist, and Antonio, a professional guitarist.
Tomatito, who had been playing clubs in Andalusia, became a flamenco sensation when he was discovered by guitarist Paco de Lucía. He accompanied legendary flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla for two decades. With de Lucia and de la Isla he recorded four albums, and had a 1979 hit called "La Leyenda del Tiempo". Their album Paris 87 won a Latin Grammy for best flamenco album in 2000. Their partnership continued until Camarón's death in 1992.
Tomatito's music blends traditional flamenco and jazz. On some albums, such as Barrio Negro, he experimented with Afro-Cuban and Brazilian Music. He has also worked with flamenco singers Duquende and Potito and pianist Chano Domínguez, among others. A collaboration with pianist Michel Camilo produced the albums Spain (2000), which won a Latin Grammy, and Spain Again (2006).
Style and instruments
Tomatito incorporates elements of jazz in his style of flamenco; both, he says, "emerged as a response to discrimination, a cry of suffering, or the joy of liberation". Half of what he plays is improvised, he said. He frequently employs the Phrygian mode, and his favorite tuning is D, A, D, G, B♭, D.
He plays guitars made by Manuel Reyes, and uses (and endorses) strings by Savarez.
- 1987: Rosas del Amor
- 1991: Barrio Negro
- 1997: Guitarra Gitana
- 2000: Spain (with Michel Camilo)
- 2001: Paseo de los Castaños
- 2004: Aguadulce
- 2006: Spain Again (with Michel Camilo)
- 2010: Sonanta Suite (with Josep Pons)
- 2013: Soy Flamenco
- 2012: "Mi Santa" Ft Romeo
With de la Isla and Paco de Lucía
- "Como El Agua"
- "Calle Real (album)"
With de la Isla
- 1979: "La Leyenda del Tiempo"
- "Soy Gitano"
- "Potro de Rabia y Miel"
- 1999: Paris 1987
- Cleveland, Barry (January 2014). "Gypsy Genome: Tomatito Reaffirms His Flamenco Essence on Soy Flamenco". Guitar Player.